Dental Hygienists are specially trained members of the dental team. They play an important role in dental health care, the prevention of gum disease and the maintenance of restorations (fillings, crowns, bridges etc). Hygienists have two main roles.
- Scaling, polishing teeth & removal of extrinsic stains.
- Teaching clients to establish and maintain an oral hygiene program to meet your specific needs and skills. This is particularly important when restorations are present; crown and bridgework are an ideal place for plaque to accumulate. If plaque is not removed from these areas it will dramatically reduce the life span of the restorations.
When treating you the Hygienist will remove calculus (calcified plaque) and plaque deposits by meticulously cleaning your teeth with special instruments.
She will show you a daily routine for removing plaque from your mouth involving thorough cleaning with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. You will also be shown how to remove plaque from between teeth with floss, wood sticks or a small inter-space brush. There is a wide range of oral hygiene products available and your Hygienist will be pleased to recommend the most appropriate products for you.
The Hygienist also plays an important role in preventative care by:
- Sealing Fissures - in order to prevent decay in children and adults who are at risk from caries.
- Providing Diet Sheets - in order to monitor the frequency and quantity of sugar based product consumption.
- Monitor and Record - bone levels, pockets, bleeding gums and bacterial flora thus enabling appropriate steps to be taken.
With correct home care and regular monitoring by the Dentist and Hygienist it is possible to keep your teeth for life.